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Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–26: Portal of the Sacred Rune (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 9 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7–11.

The Pathfinder Society has secured one end of a portal from Golarion leading to an isolated demiplane rife with adventuring opportunities. Now all that remains is gaining control of the other end, thereby ensuring safe and continued use by Pathfinders for years to come. The PCs are selected as the best chance the Decemvirate has of claiming the portal for their own.

Written by Sean McGowan.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Product Reviews (9)
1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 9 ratings)

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Awesome location, but some combats could've been spiced up a bit.

****( )

(I GMed this.)

This is an excellent way to end Season 3 and lead into Season 4. As far as season transitions go, I'd say this is the best one I've experienced so far. So even though there's very little actual story in this scenario, I really like how it introduces Season 4 without relying on specials or hard-to-play adventures.

Combat-wise, things aren't as impressive. The non-human monsters are quite scary, but I was amazed at how little threat the "normal" enemies posed. Season 3 was fond of flavourful multiclasses, but in the end most of the enemies encountered here are lacking both power and survivability. On the other hand, the non-human encounters were much more interesting, including the final boss, which is a house to deal with.

Seriously, level 2 Rogues aren't a threat to a level 7 party. I know they're not the big hitters of the encounter, but a 1d6 sneak attack isn't going to faze players. Similarly, third-level Clerics channeling and Channel Smiting (with a terrible DC) just isn't going to bother most players. These multiclasses are more done for flavour than for power, I feel, and even then their stats are sub-optimal for what they're trying to accomplish. I'm glad later seasons moved away from this. Moreover, I was shocked at how terrible their AC, to-hit and damage output was. Almost none of them could reliably take some blows through either HP or AC, and at the same time their damage output was abysmal. All of these encounters were a piece of cake, because the PCs were vastly better built in both AC and damage output, without investing too much in it.

The location is extremely cool. It's an interesting new environment with great atmosphere, and a cool way of designing a dungeon. The only downside is that Season 3 maps, even though they're extremely cool-looking, are terrible to draw, with half-squares all over the place. For the people drawing the maps, this is a nightmare to make. I won't dock points for this, but I would like to mention this. I think designers have learned from this as I don't see it much anymore, but please, draw straightforward maps from now on.

In the end, while this scenario wasn't an all-star, it still ranks very highly on the cool-factor alone.

Dungeon delve without memorable fights

***( )( )

I wonder how it can get 4.5 stars?

A dungeon crawl without roleplay, you go into a dungeon then kill all evil cultists... we always do this in season 4, Serving Ties and Cultist's Kiss are similar but much better.

Combats are okay, but nothing special, all we face are something like human fighters, kytons, a lamia sorceress... I can't say it's too easy but no suprise at all.

Change to 3 stars, creative GMs may do better environment as the final scenario of season 3, as well as the BBEG fight, not strong enough although.

This might be my favorite scenario of all time


What an excellent scenario!

When this adventure came out, it was a showstopper when I ran it at PaizoCon. Players stood out of their chairs when the reveal happened that Season 4 was going to have a Thassilonian theme. That alone is great to have in a season finale scenario. But that aside, this scenario still carries its weight as we start moving into Season 6.

Each of the encounters is unique, challenging, and wrought with roleplay opportunity, and the trap(s) that lie within the Well of Tainted virtue are still whispered among my players to this day. In addition to having an especially potent BBEG, this scenario is well equipped to handle a seasoned party of Pathfinders and give them a run for their money.

It wastes no time placing your players into the action and has a thrilling "Stargate" styled introduction to boot. Despite their retirement, even the faction missions in this scenario are worth exploring. Cheliaxian PCs may indeed enjoy playing this scenario if they are willing to explore their... morally ambiguous side.

Literally the only thing that I have issue with in this scenario is the map. But given the setting and epic gravitas of this scenario, I don't mind drawing it out each time one little bit.

To this day, this scenario is the gold standard I use when gauging the quality of new 7-11 scenarios, as well as the season finale scenarios of season 4, and 5. And I still like Portal of the Sacred Rune more.

Varisian flavor to the max


I've run this scenario three or four times and each time is bliss. Each area is infused with flavor, challenging traps or enemies, and an exquisite environment.



Just played it. Probably the most enjoyable scenario of the 40 or so I've played or run. Our group of 5 (which lacked a dedicated healer and contained a summoner and magus for arcane support) had a choice to play up or down and we chose to play up which I think contributed to my enjoyment. With this mix every single encounter (we played the optional) was a challenge, and in all but one I felt the balance of success or failure could go either way - which builds the kind of tension that gets the adrenaline pumping and provides a real sense of accomplishment when success does rear its battered head.

By the three quarter point, Story wise, I had an inkling of why they opponents were organized the way they were, although before the final encounter I was not sure what might show up - and after the encounter the reveal made sense. I think that the fact that there was a design structure that raised my adventurer's hackles as to "hmm what is really going on here?" was a plus.

The tactical set ups are each well thought out and the tactics of the creatures appeared to be well crafted and reasonable in terms of setting an appropriate challenge. When I get a chance to read/run the mod I will look forward to judging what might have occurred had our group played down, but I suspect the overall tightness of the design will speak in the mod's favor.

I'm not sure I would want to draw the map on the fly as our judge did - but it did not seem to slow us down too much - so YMMV on that one.

I've submitted a few proposals to open call through the years, and my final compliment to Sean is that this is one of those mods that will be a standard to shoot for in my own design and writing. Thanks for a great evening of play.

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